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An advantage of black and white thinking

I know there’s quite a few people out there who think that my black and white thinking is some kind of disadvantage. Maybe it is, I don’t know. If all I’ve known is this way of thinking, and I have nothing to compare it to, maybe I’m blessed by not knowing how I’m disadvantaged by it. I’ve not lost anything from it that I know of.

But it seems to have advantages too, at least as far as I can tell. It allows me to drill down through the layers of irrelevant rubbish to see what’s important.

I can look at various bits of information from various sources and see a ‘big picture’ behind it all. To use an analogy, if you show me a number of different pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, I could tell you what the picture is without needing to see all of the pieces.

It’s been a strength of mine when working as a business analyst, gathering information and understanding what’s important and what isn’t, and what might be missing so that I can seek more information to fill the gaps. And so on.

It’s also helped me act as a relationship counselor to friends and acqaintances over the years. I’ve been able to sort through the complexity of their dramas and show them the truths that are underneath all the complexity.

I’ve recently been helping a friend go through a complex issue with his marriage. What inspired today’s blog post was a comment he made where he said it was because of my way of thinking that he felt comfortable talking to me about his issues, and seeking clarification and assistance.

I was able to see past the dramas he was going through and help him see truths that he couldn’t see because he was too emotionally caught up in them. I was able to point out things that were important, because I didn’t get caught up on the dramas myself.

I liked that. I liked someone telling me that my way of thinking was advantageous, and it reminded me of other areas of my life that my way of thinking was advantageous.

We’re not all the same, and we all have different ways of thinking and of perceiving, and just because one way of thinking doesn’t suit one person (or thousands of people), doesn’t mean it’s not a completely valid and valuable way of thinking anyway.

I guess I felt vindicated that it’s ok to have black and white thinking. Especially if I can’t be any other way because it’s just the way I am. I’ve turned it into a strength instead of a weakness, and I’ve even found it can be of help to other people.

Sounds like a positive thing to me.

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